According to TMZ, Russell Simmons’ latest in a growing line of accusers comes not only with an awful allegation against him, but with a $5 million lawsuit. A 37-year-old woman named Jennifer Jarosik claims she met 60-year-old Russell Simmons in 2006 and they bonded over meditation, yoga, and being vegan (he was still been married to Kimora Lee at that time). Jennifer was also working on a documentary at the time, which Russell allegedly offered to co-produce and finance. Ten years later, Russell allegedly invited Jennifer to his house. Once there, it became very clear Russell’s motives weren’t to compare mediation mantras or fry up some tempeh bacon.
Jennifer alleges Russell propositioned her for sex. When she declined, Russell allegedly became aggressive, pushing her onto his bed as Jennifer – in a state of “shock and fear” – attempted to fight back. At one point, Russell allegedly knocked her off the bed and hit her in the head. Jennifer alleges Russell proceeded to rape her. According to her lawsuit, Jennifer didn’t report it at the time, because she felt it was her fault she wasn’t able to fight back. She decided to finally speak about it after seeing so many other women come forward with their own stories of sexual assault.
Jennifer says the alleged sexual assault left her “sick, sore, lame, disabled and disordered, both internally and externally” and that she suffered from extreme emotional distress. Jennifer’s lawyer filed the lawsuit in California, and she’s seeking over $5 million in punitive and unspecified damages. Her lawsuit mentions the Time’s Up movement several times, and lists a few of Russell’s other accusers. Russell Simmons is currently being accused of sexual assault and harassment by 15 women.
Earlier this month, Russell Simmons decided to press pause on his personal #NotMe campaign. I hope this lawsuit doesn’t motivate him to revive that stupid hashtag. Although a part of me would take some small satisfaction in hearing news from a courtroom that Russell was dumb enough to answer “hashtag not me, your honor” when asked how the defendant pleads.